Essay on Sigmund Freud Theory
When trying to understand personality we see that observing behavior is key. While other factors play a role in personality like values attitude as well as skills, primarily how we act is who we are. To understand personalities and behaviors of those who are around us in society and in workplace, we typically make conclusions based on behaviors that we observe. However, it has been stated by many that the visible attributes of behavior are the result of previous experiences. Freud suggests that the behaviors of many are a result of their early development.
Sigmund Freud developed a theory that personality development occurs in early childhood and takes place in stages. Freud states that the energies of the id, which governs the unconscious satisfaction of urges looks for a fulfillment through various erogenous zones. The five stages which Freud addresses are; the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage the latent period and the genital stage. Each aspect carries with itself various qualities that carry through into the person’s adult life.
If at one stage there is not a sufficient fulfillment of the desires, then the person experiences what is referred to as a fixation and at each stage these fixations posses certain characteristics and behaviors. The effect and characteristic of the fixations that Freud addresses can be frequently observed in our own behavior as well as those around us. It is my personal believe that understanding these behaviors and the source of the desire that were failed to be met allow for several development. This brings us closer to understanding our own behavioral patterns, as well as those who we live and work with. Furthermore, allowing some insight perhaps on possible remedies for re-occurring neurosis.
The qualities that are associated with the oral stage are very frequent in our society. Freud describes this stage as the time during infancy as the mouth is a person’s first source of interaction. Issues like trust and comfort are associated with the pleasure of taste and sucking. At this stage problems may be encountered during weaning process, and this is where the child is forced to be less dependent on the caretakers and so feeling of dependency and aggression may arise.
Furthermore, individuals with a heightened dependency may experience oral fixation as grown adults, which could be in the form of smoking, eating or nail biting. Some research has been done regarding smokers and children who were breast fed and to some degree, the results agreed with Freud, however there is a lot of controversy and skepticism regarding this. Personally I feel that in our generation, women concerned with their appearance and having to return back to work so quickly after birth, I feel the connection could be quite valid.
Another noteworthy stage is the anal stage as Freud believed that this was about controlling bladder and bowel movements and problems may arise during toilet training. If the caregivers use praise and reward, this helps the child feel capable and productive. However, if the caretaker punishes the child, or if the child feels shame and ridicule towards themselves, the consequences in behavioral development could be that as an adult they may possess what Freud referred to as an Anal-retentive personality including orderly, rigid and obsessive behavior. This type of behavior too is quite frequently evident in our daily interactions, and perhaps the remedy for this is praise and reward until slowly one learns new behaviors.
Moreover, the three other stages also provide insight into the drives behind our behaviors and personalities. I feel that while Freud’s theory is highly criticized and disputed it holds a lot of truth and provides us with a deeper understanding of certain behaviors.